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Bedford County community still cleaning up a year after tornado

Bethany Church Circle May 2023. (Credit: WSET)
Bethany Church Circle May 2023. (Credit: WSET)
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It has been almost a year since severe weather badly damaged parts of the area on May 27, 2022.

The worst damage that morning was from a tornado off Bethany Church Circle and Langford Lane in Forest. At the time, downed trees and damaged homes marked the path of this tornado. In place of the damage, one year later, there are new homes, sheds, and garages. Newly planted trees replace the old ones destroyed by the storm.

Patricia Spruce is a homeowner on Bethany Church Circle who was there during the tornado and woke up to her cats running down the stairs.

When she realized what was going on, it was too late. The tornado busted up her windows, and items in her house were being thrown around.

That wind carried some items from this neighborhood 15 miles away to Coleman Falls.

Dean and Jill Hostetter said they had a family member's W2 on the refrigerator that got sucked into the tornado and was found in Coleman Falls.

This was a home on the Hostetter's property that only had the foundation left. Now they are in the process of rebuilding. Insurance only helped a lot, so the process has been slow but steady.

The tornado path was from 221, crossing Bethany Church Circle and Langford Lane where it peaked in intensity. Then it continued to Perrowville Road before losing steam. It was rated a high-end EF2 tornado with maximum wind gusts of 135 mph.

Wondering what you would do if you found yourself in the path of a tornado? Take it from these homeowners who have been there.

Jill Hostetter said, “The minute your phone goes off. Do not ignore it. You need to get cover at that moment.”

"Find the safest place that you think you can find and hide," Patricia Spruce said.

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